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Thread: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

  1. #1
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    Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Hello All

    After the back and forth of my thread on multi-process welders I'm pretty settled on buying a Multimatic 255 in the near future and am waiting to see if Miller kicks off their "Build with Blue" or similar campaign in January and whether that includes a rebate on that machine. My thanks go out to those who responded there.

    There's a fair chance that my budget will stay healthy enough to buy a good plasma cutter either at the same time or fairly soon after that. In the near term, most of my cutting will be 3/8" or under with 1/4" likely being the significant bulk of the plate along with some flattened expanded steel sheet for smoker racks and fire pans.

    I don't expect to cut much in the way of heavier stuff and could always reach for the oxy/fuel torch but also don't want to paint myself into a corner in terms of capacity either as there's no telling what the future might bring. I'm not so sure that once I drop at least $1500 USD into a machine that the $500 or so jump to the next bigger size range may not make sense.

    I have ample clean dry air, up to 100 amps 240 volt single phase and both 20 and 30 amp 120 volt power available in both the garage and basement (I'd be welding outside the basement doors but the receptacles are inside....)

    I'm not married to any particular brand.

    Looking at the Hypertherm Powermax30 XP versus the Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme, the two units seem to be fairly similar with both having 120/240 volt capabilities and both are avaialble with transport/storage cases. Both seem to have street prices around $1500 USD.

    The Hypertherm Powermax45 XP and the Miller Spectrum 625 X-Treme seem fairly similar, too, with the Miller having a transport/storage case and none available for the Hypertherm. Street prices vary depending on torch length etc but remain comparable in the $2100-2200 range.

    The only plasma cutting I've ever done amounts to a few feet in an adult education welding class so aside from doing a lot of reading and watching videos I'm pretty new to plasma cutting. I have no interest in used machines and want to stay with a mainstream major brand.

    Any insights you can offer would be welcome.

    Thanks and best regards to all,


    Lance
    Lance

    Miller/Smith heavy duty torch set
    Multimatic 255 w/MDX-250 EZ-Select gun
    9" Evolution circular saw

  2. #2
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    IMO you wonít go wrong with either.

    My two plasma cutters are both Millers, but Hypertherm would have been my first choice.




    Iím quite certain this will be the general consensus when considering the two brands. If you are willing to look elsewhere then that is an entirely different story....


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  3. #3
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceR View Post
    I have ample clean dry air,
    Lance,

    Do you already have something like this?



    If not, you don't have clean dry air.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    I would look at what the supplies cost.
    If look some low cost machines may have hard time getting the supplies too.
    A lot of machines today have computers built, if computer dies you have a box. I look for computer free. This is becoming harder today.


    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceR View Post
    Hello All

    After the back and forth of my thread on multi-process welders I'm pretty settled on buying a Multimatic 255 in the near future and am waiting to see if Miller kicks off their "Build with Blue" or similar campaign in January and whether that includes a rebate on that machine. My thanks go out to those who responded there.

    There's a fair chance that my budget will stay healthy enough to buy a good plasma cutter either at the same time or fairly soon after that. In the near term, most of my cutting will be 3/8" or under with 1/4" likely being the significant bulk of the plate along with some flattened expanded steel sheet for smoker racks and fire pans.

    I don't expect to cut much in the way of heavier stuff and could always reach for the oxy/fuel torch but also don't want to paint myself into a corner in terms of capacity either as there's no telling what the future might bring. I'm not so sure that once I drop at least $1500 USD into a machine that the $500 or so jump to the next bigger size range may not make sense.

    I have ample clean dry air, up to 100 amps 240 volt single phase and both 20 and 30 amp 120 volt power available in both the garage and basement (I'd be welding outside the basement doors but the receptacles are inside....)

    I'm not married to any particular brand.

    Looking at the Hypertherm Powermax30 XP versus the Miller Spectrum 375 X-Treme, the two units seem to be fairly similar with both having 120/240 volt capabilities and both are avaialble with transport/storage cases. Both seem to have street prices around $1500 USD.

    The Hypertherm Powermax45 XP and the Miller Spectrum 625 X-Treme seem fairly similar, too, with the Miller having a transport/storage case and none available for the Hypertherm. Street prices vary depending on torch length etc but remain comparable in the $2100-2200 range.

    The only plasma cutting I've ever done amounts to a few feet in an adult education welding class so aside from doing a lot of reading and watching videos I'm pretty new to plasma cutting. I have no interest in used machines and want to stay with a mainstream major brand.

    Any insights you can offer would be welcome.

    Thanks and best regards to all,


    Lance

  5. #5
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Quote Originally Posted by smithdoor View Post
    I would look at what the supplies cost.
    If look some low cost machines may have hard time getting the supplies too.
    A lot of machines today have computers built, if computer dies you have a box. I look for computer free. This is becoming harder today.


    Dave
    You should probably throw away the device you are using to post on this forum then. If the computer in it does, the you just have a box.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Shop local and get a package deal.
    I'm an all Blue guy, but HYPERTHERM is the only plasma.
    I attended many Fabtech Shows, that's a welding, fabrication, metal work show. Vendors from all over the world.
    Almost all have Hypertherm on their tables. I'm talking tables that are from $250,000 to a million.
    Made in USA and employee owned. Jim Colt is a Hypertherm representative and member here. He has assisted many members and has many posts on plasmas cutters. You can do a search and see why many prefer Hypertherm.


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  8. #7
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Lance,

    Do you already have something like this?



    If not, you don't have clean dry air.
    Oscar, the pictures in your last few posts here and in the welder thread don't show on my computer. Oddly enough they appeared as an attachment to the notice that you had posted to the welder thread but not this time.

    Some years back I remodeled 13,000 square foot of a 250,000 square foot plant that McQuay Industries had moved commercial/industrial HVAC production out of and into a new building. They abandoned the entire air manifold, 60 and 100 hp screw air compressors etc when they turned the building over to the local industrial development office. It was a gold mine of air filtration equipment.

    I have been using up the particle and oil filters and the point of use water separators from the tear-out for over 25 years. I did replace all the seals and swap out the old pressure gauges for modern geared gauges when I put them back into service.

    Best regards to all,


    Lance
    Lance

    Miller/Smith heavy duty torch set
    Multimatic 255 w/MDX-250 EZ-Select gun
    9" Evolution circular saw

  9. #8
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Quote Originally Posted by LanceR View Post
    Oscar, the pictures in your last few posts here and in the welder thread don't show on my computer. Oddly enough they appeared as an attachment to the notice that you had posted to the welder thread but not this time.

    Some years back I remodeled 13,000 square foot of a 250,000 square foot plant that McQuay Industries had moved commercial/industrial HVAC production out of and into a new building. They abandoned the entire air manifold, 60 and 100 hp screw air compressors etc when they turned the building over to the local industrial development office. It was a gold mine of air filtration equipment.

    I have been using up the particle and oil filters and the point of use water separators from the tear-out for over 25 years. I did replace all the seals and swap out the old pressure gauges for modern geared gauges when I put them back into service.

    Best regards to all,


    Lance
    Oh ok good to know you are prepared with the filtration.

    As for the pics, sometimes browsers just need the cookies cleared for those pics I store on my google acct.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Oh ok good to know you are prepared with the filtration.

    As for the pics, sometimes browsers just need the cookies cleared for those pics I store on my google acct.
    I have a pop-up blocker and software to reduce folks tracking me so that may be the issue but it hasn't been on your previous posts. One other possibility is that the security software is holding up a STOP sign regarding a third party website.


    Lance
    Lance

    Miller/Smith heavy duty torch set
    Multimatic 255 w/MDX-250 EZ-Select gun
    9" Evolution circular saw

  11. #10
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    Re: Plasma cutter choices; Hypertherm, Miller etc

    Water is the biggest killer of plasma consumables. I think a large majority of users would rate Hypertherm as the #1 plasma cutter not that Miller are bad. Just not as good as Hypertherm.

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